Below is a quick MOT checklist. For more in-depth information about each section of the motorcycle MOT just click on the titles or the relevant area on the bike image above.

Lights and Signals : Quick MOT Checks

Make sure all your lights, brake lights and indicators work. You must also display a red reflector to the rear of your bike and have a functioning horn.

Steering and Suspension : Quick MOT Checks

Nothing should prevent the smooth rotation of the moving parts of your bike. This includes badly routed cables and worn head stock or wheel bearings. Forks or rear shocks mustn’t leak and should be firmly attached and filled with the correct amount of oil.

Brakes : Quick MOT Checks

Easy one this. Your bike’s brakes need to work and there should be a decent amount of brake material standing proud of the backing plate. Grooved or worn disks or drums will also fail.

Tyres : Quick MOT Checks

Mopeds must have clearly visible tread on both tyres whilst motorcycles must have at least 1mm. Bulges or cracks in the side wall are not good at all, nor are cuts over 25mm and and everything must be seated correctly.

Side Cars : Quick MOT Checks

If your motorbike has sidecar it must be securely fitted, the tyres and suspension must be up to the standard of the rest of the bike and all three wheels of the combination should point in the same direction.

Body and Structure : Quick MOT Checks

Fairly obviously loose parts or missing engine bolts will do you no favours. Rider footrests must be fitted and secure and if there is a pillion seat there must be a second set as well. Enough corrosion to affect the structure of the motorcycle will fail the MOT too, so check headstocks, swing arms and suspension mounting points etc.

Fuel and Exhaust : Quick MOT Checks

Put simply exhausts which leak or are too loud, or both, will not pass. Nor will anything stamped with ‘not for road use’ or anything which leaks fuel.

note: The annual motorcycle MOT test is simply a thorough check of all the components which are essential to keep your bike roadworthy. If your motorcycle fails this MOT checklist it is almost always because it would be unsafe for you or other road users if the bike were ridden on public roads – with the obvious exception of illegal number plates, which aren’t a danger to anything except your licence and your MOT pass.

102 Responses to Motorcycle MOT Checklist

  • James Dakin says:

    Hi , wondering if you can help , i have a GS Moon 260 Storm which is a on road buggy similar to a quad , and it needs a MOT .
    Its sitting on a ‘ 08 ‘ plate.
    all car MOT stations i have asked dont want to know.
    thanks in advance

    P.S , how much is a mot these days ??

    • admin says:

      Sorry it took so long to get back to you. Cars, quads, dual purpose vehicles etc all fall under Class IV which means you do need to find an agreeable car garage to MOT it. We’re only licensed for class I & II unfortunately.

  • j lewis says:

    my husband took his pan european for an mot and was told it failed because they had changed the rules regarding the rear number plate. apparentely it now has to have the blue GB sticker on it. is this now correct????

    • admin says:

      Right. I’ve just scoured through the online manual and can’t find anything at all to suggest why on earth a lack of GB sticker alone would fail an MOT. Wrong colour, wrong size, wrong border, wrong letter types but nothing about missing GB stickers… If they prove it to you please can you send me a copy so I can update my own head on this subject 🙂

  • Andy Barber says:

    Does a motorcycle have to have a front mudguard to pass a MOT.

    Regards Andy.

    • fasttrack says:

      It is not a requirement for the M.O.T. Be aware that anything that would attach too or be secured by the mudguard such as brake lines/speedo cables may cause a fail if they are not properly secured. Hope this helps FTMC

  • Josh Naylor says:

    Hi, i have a 50cc sym city hopper (slow). It does not have indicators at all, would it still pass an mot? Also, it does not have a stand or battery. Runs directly of the alternator. Will this fail?

    Many Thanks

    • fasttrack says:

      Hey there, the indicators are a requirement for the m.o.t providing it was first registered AFTER 1 August 1986 the stand itself isn’t a requirement however there are some stand mountings – especially on scooters – that secure other things such as wires and brake lines so just make sure things like this are secure and not dangling down interfering with anything. Also the battery isn’t a requirement but can cause faults in other areas such as the lights, the brake lights are usaualy ran from the battery and no battery at all can cause interference between the various lighting systems. Hope this helps FTMC

  • Aidan Hughes says:

    Hi, I am currently in the process of converting my 1978 Yamaha XS500 into a bobber. I want to mount the tail light and number plate via a side mount in line with the rear axle. There seems to be a lot of different opinions as to whether this is legal or not? Can you clear this one up for me? I really don’t want to spend all the time making it to get refused an M.O.T. Thanks.

    • fasttrack says:

      Hi there, yes this fine and you shouldn’t be refused an m.o.t based on this, the inspection manual states that the numberplate needs to be “mounted vertically, or as close to vertical as is reasonably practical” Basically meaning if the plate can be seen by passing aircraft then it is a fail 🙂 There are various other inspections that do not relate to its position, such as background, letter spacing, size and colour etc etc hope this helps FTMC

  • Nick says:

    Hi does my bike need a fuel cap seal? as it used to have one that had come off so i binned it, its a screw on fuel cap if that helps, thanks Nick

  • Mike says:

    Hi ive just rebuilt a piaggio nrg for my son its due its mot friday however im concerned about the forks as they have quite bad pitting will this fail?
    Thanks.

    • fasttrack says:

      Hi there its hard to say without seeing them, they would be an advise at least. On the smaller scooters that are grease filled, pitting isn’t so critical compared to say a gsxr 1000! Unfortunately that sort of problem can be down to the testers discretion. Someone not clued up about scooter forks may fail it no questions asked, we tend to advise unless it is very bad. If in doubt you could take a photo and e-mail it to us, we could give you a more accurate answer. Hope this helps FTMC

  • John says:

    Are mirrors a requirement for my bike to go through an MOT? cheers

    • fasttrack says:

      Hi there, wing mirrors are not a requirement, however if they are fitted then they will need to be secure! FTMC

  • Derek Wright says:

    Does the bike have to have a speedo to pass an MOT I fully understand it has to have one to use on the road but I am only interested in the MOT. it is a trials bike which also will only be on the “day light use only” MOT

    Thanks
    Derek

    • fasttrack says:

      Hi there, a Speedo isn’t a requirement for the M.O.T however the mileage will show up as 0. Ftmc

  • Ben read says:

    I have recently finished a bobber project and its soon mot time, I am after a daytime only use mot.
    My bike has no indicators but does have a brake and headlight, exhaust is also not stock, not loud but I’m wondering if this would be a problem…
    Also no front Mudguard but cables Etc are not loose,
    The new speedo will also read “0” miles, would this be a problem coz it doesn’t match my previous mot Certs?
    Thanks in advance

    • fasttrack says:

      Hi there. OK, for a daytime M.O.T you will need to disconnect and mask over the lights that do work (including the brake light). If you decide not to have a daytime M.O.T then indicators will be a requirement proving the “date of first use” is AFTER 1st august 1986 and all the relevant lights will need to operate as they should. The front mudguard isn’t a requirement and the exhaust will be o.k providing it hasn’t got “Not for road use” or similar wording written on it. Finally any mileage difference isn’t an M.O.T issue. FTMC

  • alex says:

    Hi, does there have to be a ball at the end of brake leever at mine is broke off but I’ve filed and sanded it down and it is not shard or jagerdy??

  • Ian Davis says:

    Hi there

    I have a scooter which failed the mot on the catch which holds the seat locked is broken. I thought this was a bit harsh as if I’m sitting on the bike it isn’t going to open. Just wondered what the thinking behind this is?

    Many thanks

    • fasttrack says:

      Hey there, honestly im not 100% sure as you are right, its not necessrily insecure with you sat on it however perhaps with a pillion passenger on and going over a speed bump, may get there hands trapped? Any reason really is just conjecture, we dont make the rules we just follow them. Sorry i couldn’t be more help! FTMC

  • Ashley says:

    Hi there, I was wondering if a exhaust bandage covering up a hole no blowing or anything like that, as a temporarily fix would be a pass? Thanks

  • Frank says:

    Hi.
    I am wondering what the mot law states on front brake light on a 1973 Triumph T140. it is a chop hard tail and there is no provision for a front brake light switch either mecanical or hydraulic.
    So does it need a F/Brake light switch to pass a currant mot
    Regards Frank

    • fasttrack says:

      Hi Frank, the law states that on “Machines first used before 1st April 1986 must have a stop lamp that operates from at least 1 brake control” so providing the back works then that will be fine. FTMC

  • adam fletc says:

    hi on my bike the rear shock is not leaking but it makes a noise when you push down on the back end is this ok for a mot please

    • fasttrack says:

      Hey there, it would depend on the operation of the shock absorber, making a noise isn’t a problem but if its making a noise because it has no oil in it and this affects the operation then it could still potentially fail. FTMC

  • Geoff says:

    I have written on my stage 1 exhaust “for closed circuit use” Victory Hammer, I have been told it will fail the MOT. What if I were to tape over or remove the wording, would it then pass?
    Regards Geoff

    • fasttrack says:

      hi there, covering it up would allow it to pass on that issue as the tester isn’t allowed to remove the sticker, however the loudness is left to the testers discretion so I wouldn’t be able to say whether it is a definite pass or not. FTMC

  • Pingback: the mot low down | Used Motorbikes in the Midlands

  • ben says:

    Hi there I have a bandit and I have pulled the rubber grips of my foot pegs will this fail the mot ?

    • fasttrack says:

      Hi there, removing the rubbers shouldn’t cause it fail as there are motorcycles without rubbers on the footpegs, so long as it doesn’t reduce the size too much or alow your feet to easily slip off. FTMC

  • Dan newstead says:

    Hello

    My exhaust has no markings on apart from the makers badge, it is a little on the loud side? Is it just discretion that will fail it on noise or because it has no markings on it?

    • fasttrack says:

      hiya, loudness is down to the testers discretion, and no markings isn’t a reason for failure! “Not for road use” or similar wording is a reason for failure. FTMC

  • Adm91 says:

    Hi, I recently slid out on some diesel and managed to break a mirror and snap the light switch to my lights. I found the plastic slider that snapped out and can still use it to switch my lights on and off, I just carry it in my jacket pocket, Would this fail the MOT due to the light switch being snapped? Thanks 🙂

  • james says:

    hi what is the law on tape on your seat to cover up a rip on it for a mot thanks

  • andrew gregory says:

    will my zxr fail the mot because it has no mirrors. thanks

  • martin rogan says:

    hi does my 125 need rear foot pegs for mot

    • fasttrack says:

      Hiya, yes tit would but only if there is space for a passenger. If the pillion seat is covered or replaced by a cowl then it is ok to not have pillion pegs. FTMC

  • P.Elliott says:

    Hi, i had a car run into the back of my sinnis max the mud guard has snapped off just below the number plate. Number plate is in tact. Lights ect all fine. Will this pass the m.o.t? If not how much would it be to replace? Thanks.

    • admin says:

      As long everything is still working, attached securely, with no sharp edges on show and the car didn’t hit the wheel or swing-arm – because this could cause wheel-alignment issues – it should be fine.

  • Jordan says:

    Hi, i bought a Suzuki ap50cc moped the other day and booked it in for an mot on Friday but i read that without a vin on the body of the bike it will fail, so i went out and checked the bike over and can’t find the vin anywhere but on the mot certificate from last year it has the vin registration etc on it, would it fail ab not for this? Im panicking as this is the first time iv had to put a bike in for an mot, thanks for anyhelp

    • admin says:

      First off, don’t panic! We do need the VIN number in order to log the bike onto the VOSA computer system but I’m sure we’ll find it between us. Just bring it down and we’ll sort it. If you have an old MOT in the paperwork bring that and your V5 too =)

  • glenn says:

    Hi, I have just bought an 1100 Moto-Guzzi California & I’m thinking of stripping it of all the chrome etc & building a bobber. Will it pass an MOT if I remove the indicators & front mud guard. Thanks

    • admin says:

      Strangely enough the front mudguard is not an MOT requirement. You do have to have indicators though, unless the bike was first registered before April 1986.

  • Zech says:

    Hi, I need to get a MOT done for a 125 I got sitting in garage. It not pretty to be honest but everything seems to be there and working. Although there is a short in the horn somewhere. It worked then the wireing got wet and now it doesn’t. Will that fail it? My old classic Ural doesn’t got a horn and it passed last time that was done…Is there anyway I can just bring it by and have you look it over and tell me what needs doin and how much the parts are gonna cost without paying to fail a MOT? If I don’t like the price to pay to fix ‘er I’ll just sell ‘er as spares repairs. Cheers.

    • admin says:

      To be fair mate, if we spend half an hour thoroughly checking your bike over the labour charge would be £20+VAT anyway so you’d only be saving £5.50 over a full MOT and if you decide you can afford to fix it and do it it reasonably quickly the re-test would be free… Your big issue is the electrics. There’s no way we can quote you for electrical fault diagnosis. It’s just simple case of trial by logic and sometimes you find the fault fast, sometimes it takes ages – it just depends what the fault is. First thing to do is look in behind the headlight and near the fuse box. Look for places where the wiring loom attaches (earths) to the frame of the bike. If any connections are rusty, undo them and attack them with sandpaper until you see shiny and then re-attach. Also look fo rrusty connections within the loom too. Keep looking until you’ve fixed all of them then try the horn again 🙂

  • Anthony Blackburn says:

    I have a juba lee clip holding my exhaust, strapped to where the scooter is topped up with engine oil, would this cause a mot failure, even know it’s all secure and exhaust is not leaking fumes

  • Mike Redmond says:

    Can I put my motorbikes number plate above my rear lights . Thanks

  • david mitchell says:

    Hi i recently fitted mirrors with intergrated indicators to my aprilia..however one of these has just snapped off ,so refitted indicator onto fairing .Both work so will this pass the mot even though one is on the fairing and the other is on the wing mirror.

    cheers

    Dave

  • mark says:

    Hi will my bike fail if I am missing my light switch but light all still work

  • Oliver Johnston says:

    Hello

    I have just finished a Yamaha xvs 650 bobber project and am looking to get it mot’d and on the road for the summer. I just used a conversion kit and upgraded the exhausts etc and other cosmetic parts. My question is, do I need to do a MSVA approval test prior to booking a mot, or because the bike is pre registered can I skip that stage. Thanks

    • admin says:

      If you have simply modified the frame of a bike which is already registered and you have a V5 registration document for it, then it shouldn’t need an MSVA test at all! It just needs an MOT. If however you have built a frame from scratch you’ll need an MOT before you can get an MSVA approval. Hope that helps 🙂

  • Andy says:

    Hi, I know some of this has already been asked so apologies for duplicate questions, but I am getting a bobber MOT ready so want to check some things if I may, if the bike has a straight exhaust, its not loud as has baffles but no markings on is this ok?

    also no front mudguard, I have had conflicting answers to whether it needs one for the mot

    rear light very slightly dims when indicators are blinking, is this an issue?

    Lastly, does headlight need to have e marking on it? It dips to the left but no markings on.

    Thanks

    • admin says:

      Hi Andy, non-standard exhausts that don’t have markings specifically saying ‘not for road use’ are down to the discretion of the examiner. He can fail you if he deems it too loud. He probably won’t.

      The from mudguard is not part of the MOT test. No problem there either. Same for the headlight, the e markings are irrelevant, it simply has to pass the beam test.

      Your issue is the indicators. If the indicators are affecting the normal function of another light you do have a problem. That needs to be sorted.

  • Craig says:

    Hi, I have a Vespa t5 that I need to mot soon. Currently it has no mot and I am wondering is it correct that I am able to ride it to the test station.
    Thanks Craig

  • Paul Ferris says:

    I have just changed the rusting locking petrol cap on my ZZR600 for a keyless quick release cap. Will this be ok for the MOTor should I fit a standard locking cap?

  • Janine Keech says:

    My R1 had a nudge last year which resulted in the insurance company replacing my Yoshimura exhaust can…the MOT garage just failed it as it had a sticker on saying
    “US EPA noise emission standards”..is this an illegal can or should it have passed the MOT…or does this not count for the UK…my previous yoshimura had no probs..

    • admin says:

      The only thing which automatically fails is if it says “not for road use”. However any aftermarket can can fail on noise levels at the discretion of the examiner if it’s too loud.

  • Gary says:

    Hi there I have just bought a custom Harley Davison bobber. It does have a mot but the bike does not have either speedo or indicators it this legal and does it mean it only has a so called day time mot? And what would I need to do to the bike to get it on a full day and night mot

    • admin says:

      Bikes registered before 1986 do not need indicators so I can only assume your bike is older than that or the indicators were removed after the test. If it was a Day Time MOT it would be clearly stated in the advisories section.

      Speedos are ignored by the MOT test.

  • Barry May says:

    Bought a skyjet sj125 – 23 twin headlight model. Side fairings are missing but nose cone is fixable. Can I Mot bike without side fairings n what would be required to pass eg:brackets/mounts on frame removed or ?, petrol tank overlaps frame where they meet is this ok and what about the exposed wiring (tidy up, cover)? And finally broken rear side/seat fairing strip, is it ok to repair or need replacing. Thanks.

    • admin says:

      The fairing is not necessary for the MOT but whatever is left must be securely attached or removed. Sharp objects protruding from the vehicle will fail it, so if any of the brackets look like they could be potentially dangerous and impale pedestrians in the event of a collision they will need removing.

  • Aron says:

    I’ve got a custom chop bobber does it need a rear mudguard for the MOT also I believe a red reflector is needed for the rear and that it needs to be on the center line of the bike but I have nowhere for it to go what would you suggest.

    • fasttrack says:

      A rear mudguard is required to pass an MOT.In regards to the red reflector, perhaps you could stick the reflector on the corner of the number plate (this would pass the MOT).

  • Eva says:

    That are the rules on tape on a bike? I had a minor accident lately. The plastic cover of my speedometer broke and the head-beam warped a bit. I used duck tape to seal speedometer and head-beam from the rain. Also a bit tape around the indicators as they have a tendency to be very loose (it’s a plastic socket that just needs to be glued back together to give them stability). Would it pass, or what would I need to do to get it through? Do I need a new speedometer and light unit or would that be okay? It rides just fine.

    • fasttrack says:

      so long as the Headlight aim is correct and everything is secured to the bike with no sharp edges then the bike should pass an MOT (so long as nothing else is damaged of course) 🙂

  • martin says:

    Hi i have a gs moon buggy and wanted to no what gets checked for daytime m.o.t and what dont as got booked in for m.o.t on 29th thanks

    • fasttrack says:

      Unfortunately i am unable to answer this question as Quad bikes do not fall into Class I or Class II (quad’s are Class III) and so we dont MOT them but on a motorcycle we cover everything from a normal MOT, there can be no lights but you need a functioning horn.

  • Paul says:

    Hi was wondering if you could help I have a motorbike and the mountings have snapped so I have had a bracket made and welded onto the motorbike to hold the exhaust would this still pass the mot

  • James says:

    Hi I have a 07 ktm 450 exc that’s due for mot, do the clocks/dials need to illuminate as mine have stopped lighting up. Also is it a legal requirement to illuminate the licence plate as I have a stop/light but it’s my off-road one so doesn’t have a dedicated plate light. Thanks

    • fasttrack says:

      It is indeed a legal requirement to illuminate your licence plate, also your clocks/dials do not need to be illuminated so long as they are still clearly visible at night.

  • kingfisher says:

    is the Mudguard still not part of the MOT, as I just read another MOT’s center what as a check list for the bike and the guard was included in there list, is this something what is just there for there own checks or is it now part of the checks?

  • sean says:

    hi, my gn125’s front mudguard is fairly rusty, would it pass an mot like this?

  • Peter Tuke says:

    Hi I’m taking my Ducati 848 for its MOT,it is totally standard except there are no pillion foot rests, never has had, and has had 3 previous MOT’s with out a problem. I have been told it will not pass.

    • admin says:

      No problem at all, as long is it has a solo seat. If it has a pillion seat, or you added one, it will need rear foot pegs as well.

  • Peter says:

    Hi. The clutch on my 125 slips slightly. Would those be an automatic fail or would it just be an advisory?

  • Kurtis says:

    Hi i have a honda cbr 125 the fairing on the left and right belly are taped along the top to the left and right front fairings in front of the tank this was the previous owner as i have just got the bike and not put it through an mot yet and underneath the pillion seat the 2 bolts are not present due to the holes on the fairing being cracked do you think it will pass or just wait for my new ones witch will be here in 2 to 3 weeks

    Reply

    • admin says:

      It’s difficult to say for certain without seeing the bike. But as long as the fairing is secured, by whatever means, and not liable to falling off and getting caught in any moving parts it should pass.

  • Jacob shone says:

    My swing arm has a smale hole.in it is it ok to weld it or put a new bit of box sEcton in yo pass the mot

  • Damon. says:

    Hi I have recently restored a 1963 Raleigh RM5 moped that does not have indicators and the lights are very dim as they work on a 6 volt dynamo, would it still pass an MOT or would I need to modify it to a 12 volt system as I am seriously thinking about adding indicators from a safety point of view what are your views regarding this given the amount of traffic on today’s roads.

  • Kyle says:

    Hi there i have a yamaha aerox and was wondering would it need the belly panel fitted to pass m.o.t?

  • Tim says:

    Hi,
    I have an imported and unregistered 1973 Honda CB750. At the moment it has no wiring/lights/speedo etc. What is the minimum it would need to get an MOT? I’m not worried about it receiving advisories as I just want an MOT to allow registration with the DVLA.
    Thanks
    Tim

    • fasttrack says:

      Hi Tim,
      You could pass a daylight MOT if you have a continuous tone horn, but you would not be able to use the bike at night.
      Thanks

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